Roger Stone requested Wednesday that a judge hold a hearing on the conspiracy theory that CNN was tipped off about his arrest before it happened last month.
CNN has denied getting any such tip, and even published a story going through the clues it used to put together that the arrest might be happening the morning of Friday, Jan. 25.
Nonetheless, the theory has been touted by Stone, his allies, and even Republican lawmakers. Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker fanned the flames by saying a congressional hearing last week that he he too was concerned that CNN was tipped off, despite there being no evidence that prosecutors gave any members of the media a heads up about Stone’s arrest.
Stone is now requesting that prosecutors be required to “show cause” that they were not in contempt by allegedly leaking his indictment to the press.
Stone’s request came in court filings Wednesday that included several exhibits, while suggesting it was “not par for the course” that a reporters and a camera crew arrived at his house before his arrest and hours before his indictment was posted publicly on the federal court website PACER. His exhibits include a screenshot of his lawyer’s texts with a CNN reporter, a timeline of that Friday morning’s events and a screenshot of what he claims is the metadata of the indictment the CNN reporter sent his lawyer shortly after the rest.
His claims rest on the fact that the indictment sent to his lawyer by the reporter at 6:22 a.m. ET, about 15 minutes after he was arrested, and more than two hours before it was posted on PACER. The indictment the reporter sent also did not have the markings, such as a “sealed” stamp, that the PACER version had, which Stone alleges shows that the indictment was “publicly distributed” in violation of a court’s order that it would remain under sealed until after his arrest.
In fact, the special counsel’s press representative sent an email to all the reporters on his press list at 6:16 a.m. ET, five minutes after Stone’s arrest, announcing the charges with a link to the special counsel website where a copy of the indictment had been posted. The CNN reporter herself, in her text to Stone’s lawyer, said she received the indictment via the press release, and that indictment matches the version Stone included in his exhibits while suggesting it was a “draft” leaked to CNN.
It has been the standard practice of Mueller’s investigation to announce indictments in press releases like the one that announced Stone’s charges.
Stone has been charged with obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering. He has pleaded not guilty.
Read his request for a hearing, along with some of the exhibits, below: